Talk is cheap and litigation is expensive.
INSIDE Celebrity Machines?...................................................................... 3 Religion and the UK........................................................................6 Climbing the Ladder.......................................................................12
The Devil’s Advocate........................................5 Amicus.............................................................9 Privasaon of the Police Force.....................12
THE ADVOCATE The Newspaper of the QMSPBG, Since 2004
Volunteering Making a Difference
The Digital Economy Act 2010
The Court of Appeal Gives its Decision
!The House of Lords refused to pass the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. This bill is the subject of much controversy as it involves government attempts to save £350m by limiting the availability of legal aid. The peers voted, by a majority of 45, to ensure that there should be "access to legal services that effectively meet [people's] needs". This setback in the government’s plans raises the prospect of the Commons having to reverse the Lords' decisions for the bill to be voted. Such a move would add to the constitutional debate over the role and powers of the upper chamber of Parliament.
Eija Pakkala Contributor The concept of Pro Bono work is familiar to all law students. Literally the phrase means for the public good. Professionals, usually in the legal field, provide services without payment or at a reduced fee to those who cannot afford their services. We can consider pro bono work as a form of volunteering. Volunteering, however, covers all areas of human life: work without pay is done in schools, hospitals, sports clubs and many other settings. Volunteers give their time to protect the environment, provide social services and help their neighbours in their communities or suffering people in far away countries. 2011 was the European Year of Volunteering and during this year, the European Union paid special attention to the many different aspects of volunteering. This was coordinated by the EYV Alliance, which is an open and informal group of European networks. The EYV 2011 Alliance created a ‘Gifts of time’ web page where anybody could sign up and commit to volunteering for a specific number of hours during 2011. This enabled organisations to offer volunteering opportunities and allowed people to search for suitable tasks. Some statistics are available now: by the beginning of February 2012, a total of more than 2 million hours were committed. When we look at the different countries, Sweden seems to have been very active with 1 133 246 hours and United Kingdom (480 561 hours) has been pretty good too in donating ‘Gifts of time’. The motivation to
VOLUNTEERING page 2
!The High Court has orphoto courtesy of computeractive.co.uk
The Royal Courts of Justice Verna Vesanen Contributor On 6th March 2012 BT and TalkTalk lost their challenge against the Digital Economy Act 2010 in the Court of Appeal, with Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Patten holding that the Act is legal and compatible with EU law. BT and TalkTalk had appealed against a judicial review decision which they had lost in the High Court. According to the Act, copyright owners will prepare Copyright Infringement Reports (CIR’s) for internet service providers (ISPs) listing IP addresses infringing their copyright. The ISPs will need to make Copyright Infringement Lists informing the copyright owners which IP addresses on the CIRs were allocated to the same subscriber connection without disclosing the name of the subscriber. The ISP will also send a warning letter to the infringing subscriber. Then, if the rights holder wants to sue a subscriber, they will need to ob-
tain a Norwich Pharmacal order to identify the infringer. Furthermore, the Technical Obligations Code (if it is to come into force) would require ISPs to penalise infringers by limiting or restricting their internet access. The Act has been criticised for a variety of reasons. It was based on the Digital Britain Report published in 2009, which had as its goal the creation of a policy for maximising the benefits of the digital revolution. The Government rushed the Act through, passing the Digital Economy Bill on April 8th 2010 as part of the parliamentary “wash up” procedure, with only 6 percent of Members of Parliament in the House of Commons attending the debate that led to its passing. The Act is problematic for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is impossible to identify a subscriber behind an IP address. Furthermore, even in cases where it is possible to identify an IP address, it is impossible to identify
who actually was using the computer at the time. It would be unfair to hold an internet subscriber vicariously liable, for instance in the case that their child or a friend had used their computer to infringe copyright. The Act might also hinder the willingness of places like coffee shops to provide Wi-Fi access, in case they are made liable for the infringements of their customers. In addition, the implementation of the Technical Obligations Code would mean that subscribers could be disconnected from the internet without a fair hearing. The Act would also affect disproportionately those who do not know how to secure their network. Furthermore, it can be argued that the copyright owners themselves should be more active in enforcing their rights, instead of making ISPs restrict internet content at a huge cost to themselves. This led BT and TalkTalk to apply for judicial
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dered Mirror Group Newspapers to pay £75,000 for defaming Baby P's father. Baby P was found dead in a blood-splattered cot at his mother's home in August 2007. The paper alleged falsely that the father had been convicted for the rape of a 14-year old girl in the 1970s. The judge stated that the damages awarded would have been much higher had the newspaper group not acted swiftly to apologise and correct the error.
!The celebrated Spanish human rights investigator, Baltasar Garzon, escaped conviction but the court still held that he was wrong to open an investigation into the deaths of 114,000 people under the Franco dictatorship. International human rights groups reacted angrily, saying that the decision ensured impunity for Franco's henchmen and left his victims unable to demand justice.
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The Advocate COLOPHON
Special Thanks to… Khaled Alzyad Hamza Caan Mai-Ling Dwyer Susana Fonseca Hayley France Louis Hemming-Lowe Teniola Jacobs Alessia Kalish Agata Kozolup Kathryn Mason Philip Mutton Usman Naqvi Eija Pakkala Muhammad Reza Laura-May Scott Verna Vesanen Christina Wan Lauren Watson
Dennis Brunner Editor-in-Chief Shahyan Dastur Executive Editor Eleanor Murphy Executive Editor Elizabeth Holden Associate Editor Iina Pakkala Associate Editor Ludovic Balancy News Editor Lauren Stone Journalist
Faculty: Professor Andrew Le Sueur Publishing: Nicholas Russo EDITORIAL POLICY: The Editorial Board reserves the right to edit all submissions for length, grammar, and clarity. Views illustrated in such submissions are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the The Advocate or QMSPBG.
"VOLUNTEERING connued from page 1 volunteer usually comes from the willingness to help. It just feels like the right thing to do and helping others makes us feel good. Although the goal is to help and make a difference in the lives of those who need it, studies show that aspects that motivate us in our careers are relevant here too. We want to learn new skills and we want the work to be rewarding and satisfying. For young people, volunteering can be a way to obtain international experience. The European Commission and the Council of Europe, in the field of the youth, try to facilitate cross-border volunteering. It can be an excellent way to broaden your knowledge about different cultures and create networks. The year of volunteering prompted several seminars and also studies about why and how people are willing to give their time, as well as important guidelines for the organisations benefiting from volunteers. A somewhat surprising study result showed that many would be willing to volunteer if only someone asked them to. Organisations struggling with scarce resources should encourage those who are willing to volunteer to
step forward and help. The most motivated and committed volunteers can be found where the volunteers’ ambitions and passions meet the specific goals of that organisation. This means that some background work needs to be done and the organisation cannot just accept someone to do something. The best results are achieved when some time and effort is put into comparing the strengths and skills of the volunteer and the needs of the organisation. Based on my own experience, I would strongly recommend volunteer work. It can be very rewarding indeed. It has been fulfilling to volunteer in two rather different areas: one being the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in the field of early childhood education, and the other being in a network called ‘Let’s read together’ in the international ‘Zonta Women’ organisation. ‘Zonta Women’ seeks to improve the status of women worldwide. The organisation has a wide variety of activities and I personally volunteer in language teaching to immigrant women. Volunteering really can make a difference, not only in the lives of individuals but in the communities as well. For example, in one of the EU-level thematic conferences for the year of volun-
teering, one of the topics was how to respond to the current economic crisis and the participants were discussing what could be done to help the Greeks during the crisis. For those of you who are considering volunteering, you should give it a try. Volunteering opportunities can be found anywhere and it is up to you to decide how many hours you wish to commit. You can start with a project type task to see if it is what you want to do. Whether you volunteer at a one-off event or commit to weekly volunteering, it is bound to make a difference and working together with other volunteers can be a lot of fun! Some of you may already be part of the London 2012 Games Makers and for those who are not, the following web page gives excellent ideas about volunteering in general: http://www.london2012.co m/get-involved/volunteer/other-ways-to-volunteer/volunteer-in-your-area. php On the Alliance’s web page you can see the variety of networks which come together to recognise and promote volunteering: http://www.eyv2011.eu/abo ut-the-alliance
"DIGITAL connued from page 1 review of the Act in July 2010 before the High Court contending that it was not for them to police their customers and invade their privacy. Their application for judicial review was granted on November 10, 2010 by Wyn Williams J. The two ISPs argued their case on five grounds. First, that the provisions of the Digital Economy Act 2010 constituted a technical regulation. According to the Technical Standards Directive 98/34/EC as amended by 98/48/EC a technical regulation should be notified to the European Commission to be enforceable. This has not been done. Secondly, the Act was infringing the E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC Articles 3 (the country of origin principle), 12 (the “immunity for mere conduit providers” rule) and 15 (the “no general obligation to monitor” principle). Thirdly, they tried to argue that the processing of personal data under the Act was in breach of the Data Protection Directive 1995/46/EC and that the processing did not comply with Articles 6 and 15 of the Privacy in Electronic Communications Directive 2002/58/EC. Fourthly, the provisions of the Act were contrary to the Authorisations Directive 2002/20/EC as amended by Directive 2009/140 EC and in particular Article 12 relating to administrative costs. Finally, they tried to argue that the Act infringed free movement of services under Articles 56, 61 and 52 of the Treaty on the Functioning of Europe, an infringement of freedom of expression (the right to receive and impart information) and the right to privacy under Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter on the Fundamental Rights and Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. BT and TalkTalk lost their judicial review case in the High Court, with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker giving the judgment. First of all, it was considered that the Technical Standards Directive did not apply because the Act did not have a legal effect for individuals, and was not “binding and sufficiently precise and specific so as to be enforceable against an affected individual”. Furthermore, the Act did not need to be notified to the European Commission because it was contingent on another measure (the implementation of the Technical Obligations Code).
Secondly, Article 12 of the E-Commerce Directive can shield an ISP, which is a “mere conduit ISP” from liability. However, the obligations imposed on ISPs under the Act, including the burden to pay 25% of the implementation costs and the costs of the appeal and their own cost in implementing the system did not amount to liability as defined in the Act. Furthermore, the obligations required by the Act did not amount to “monitoring” in the sense of Article 15(1), which states that there “is no general obligation to monitor”. Thirdly, on the question of data protection, the court held that the obligations under the Act were justified under paragraphs 3 and 5 of Schedule 2 and Article 8 (2)(e) of the Data Protection Act 1998, referring to the necessity to comply with a legal obligation, the obligation being a public function in the public interest and necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal claim. They also failed on the human rights ground, as it could not be said that the Act constituted a disproportionate restriction on the freedom to provide cross-border services in the EEA, and did not infringe a right to privacy or freedom of expression. BT and TalkTalk only succeeded on the first ground. Mr Justice Kenneth Parker held that ISPs could not be made to share the administrative costs as they were not included in Article 12 of the Authorisation Directive. However, they would have to contribute to the costs of the case fees (25% contribution) as well as “relevant fees” (25% contribution), which are the operating fees incurred when identifying which subscribers are accused of illegal downloading. Lord Justice Richards giving the judgment in the Court of Appeal agreed on all other grounds except on the fourth. The court decided the Government could not make ISPs contribute to the case fees, although they would still need to pay 25% of the “relevant fees”. However, they will also need to pay 25% of the administrative costs incurred by Ofcom, the media regulator, for running and setting up an appeals body. The claimants were not given a right to appeal to the Supreme Court and it is now for the Government to implement the Digital Economy Act 2010.
NEWS & FORUM
Russia and China’s Decision to Veto Khaled Alzyad Contributor It is not the first time that Russia or China has used its veto right in the UN Security Council. Both countries have used their veto right many times since the collapse of the former Soviet Union. China has however used its veto right more sparingly in the Security Council than Russia. China has often chosen to abstain from voting when it does not support a decision. Whenever it did use its veto right, the issues were usually of great importance to Chinese national interests. Russia has used their veto right in relation to decisions dealing with Bosnia, Chechnya and Iraq. In August 1972, China blocked Bangladesh from gaining admission to the United Nations in support of Pakistan, from which Bangladesh had just gained independence, and which was Beijing’s ally. In January 2007, China, together with Russia, vetoed a measure imposing sanctions on Burma, a Chinese client state at the time. Then in July 2008, China joined Russia in vetoing a resolution punishing the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, another of Beijing’s allies. China has also used its veto right in rela-
photo courtesy of ministryoftofu.com
tion to decisions dealing with District Tibet. Syria, however, seems a strange case for Russia and China to interfere. Russia and China however refuse to pass the UN Security Council Resolution to force Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down. All other 13 countries in the UN Security Council voted for the Resolution and the veto has been heavily condemned by the Western and Arab world. Both Russia and China however condemn taking action in Syria and seem to oppose interfering since, as Li Baodong, the Chinese representative to the UN, stated,
the parties are still ‘seriously divided.’ Both Russia and China therefore seem to believe that the problems in Syria are for the Syrians themselves to sort out. Recently, China has warned the US against attacking Syria, and Russia has reportedly moved warships into Syrian waters to defend Syria from a possible attack from the US. When taking a closer look, we can however see that there are many reasons behind the decision to veto for both Russia and China. Although some reasons relate directly to Syria, most do not. In relation to Syria, Russia has been her
close ally since Soviet times and it has opposed any UN decisions which may lead to regime change in Syria. Furthermore, Syria is a leading customer in Russia’s arms market. The more important reasons behind the veto, however, do not relate to Syria at all. Both Russia and China seem to be doing all they can to stabilise their countries and improve their statuses. Both Russia and China see resolutions and pro-democracy decisions as setting back their countries. Russia, for example, suffered from the democratic revolutions in the
Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia. The decision to veto showed the Western world that both Russia and China have important status and that their wishes must be taken into consideration. At the last UN Security Council Conference, Russia and China used their veto right in relation to decisions dealing with the Syrian government arguably not only because of their interests in Syria or because of their good relations with Syria, but to enhance their superpower statuses. After the Cold War, only the US attained status as a superpower. It seems that since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, the US is trying to ensure its status as the only leading superpower in the world. To this effect, the US has intervened in many parts of the world looking after interests in countries such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. This seems a threat to other potential superpowers. Today the position on which countries are superpowers is unsure. The veto of the UN Resolution ensured that any decision which may harm both Russia and China’s potential or actual statuses as superpowers does not pass through.
Celebrity Machines? Kathryn Mason Contributor The pressures surrounding Article 8 and Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 have never been so intense. Over the last year we have seen the unravelling of the phone hacking scandal and the subsequent Leveson enquiry. The hunt for all-important headlines has been known to make a fair few journalists take a somewhat unethical approach. Alongside the fanatic journalists, we have people desperate to break into the celebrity “industry” even if such a break amounts to just fifteen minutes of fame. The “kiss and tell” stories have littered the tabloids and in blunt terms, there is no doubt that “sex sells”. Last year when the Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas affair broke, the public gained a real insight into how the courts attempt to balance Article 8- the right to privacy and family life- and Article 10- freedom of expression. What constitutes the
public and the private for the celebrity? What are the implications of the freedom of expression for the families of the celebrity? Why does society seemingly embrace the immoral tales of the one night stand girl in pursuit of her 15 minutes of fame? The case law exploring what constitutes the public and the private is far from clear and varies in terms of what the celebrity may or may not be doing within that field. Jamie Theakston was at the centre of the case Theakston v MGN Ltd  where he was photographed coming out of a renowned brothel. He was allegedly threatened with blackmail by the prostitutes and sought a sanction from the courts. Unfortunately, the court held that although the act of sleeping with a prostitute was a private matter, the place in which he did it was a public place and anyone could have seen him coming in or out of the brothel and recognised him. In following the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” it is the use
of photographs in reporting that appears to be taken more seriously in terms of breaches of human rights protection of privacy. Both the Douglas case and the Campbell case had photographs at the heart of the facts. In Douglas Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were attempting to seek damages against OK! Magazine when they published photographs of their wedding. Having signed an exclusive deal with Hello!, Douglas and Zeta-Jones were the “victims” of OK! Magazine publishing photographs without consent. Meanwhile, in Campbell supermodel Naomi Campbell had been photographed outside a Narcotics Anonymous clinic and wanted to prevent the publication of the photographs as she felt that these were a breach of her privacy. In both of these cases, the courts found in favour of the celebrities- there had been a breach of their rights to privacy. One can argue, of course, that celebrities tend to sell their soul to the media industry. They choose to enter
Catherine Zeta-Jones the industry; they use the media to promote their products- be that film, music, clothing ranges, etc- yet when it suits them, the celebrities claim “privacy”. Katie Price, aka Jordan, is a typical example of someone who likes to
photo courtesy of dailyceleb.com
claim privacy for her, and her children, as and when it suits and seems to forget that she has invited cameras into her home and allowed her children to feature heavily in her
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4 "CELEBRITY connued from page 3 reality TV show. The flip side of this is that the celebrities are simply doing their job as anyone else would. It is common for the everyday Joe Bloggs to go into work and have a “public front” for the office- he may be bubbly, flirty with the office workers, he may pretend that everything at home is ok when in fact his whole world is falling apart. Yet Joe Bloggs can return home from work and know that the next day his private, family affairs will not be published on the front page of the newspapers and that he can continue to go into work and put on the same “public front” for as long as he chooses. Celebrities, on the other hand, do not have the same luxury. They have their public front and when they are in their private environment, they can deal with their problems as they wish. However, when they leave the next morning they cannot be sure that their private affairs will remain private. A partner may have been followed taking a detour to another flat on the way home. He may have been pictured kissing the tenant of the other flat and those pictures may well find themselves on the front of the tabloid newspaper and littered all over the internet the next day. Often they will fall victim to ‘Kiss and Tell’ stories. Anyone who has experienced a particularly painful break-up with the involvement of a third party will know that all you want to do is close the door to the world and confide only in those you choose to. Not only have you been betrayed but you feel humiliated. It cannot be in the public interest to sell the pride of the wronged spouses, can it? The balance between freedom of expression and the right to a private life needs to be readdressed so that the media cannot simply make these revelations and reward those women who come forward with their “confessions” that they felt the wronged spouse had the right to know. If they felt so strongly about what they had done, they would confide in a priest rather than take a large sum of money for their five minutes of fame- sprawled across the tabloids in little more than their underwear. There is, of course, the issue of hypocrisy which has to be considered. If X makes a living and secures large sums of money in spon-
sorship deals by pretending that he has the characteristics of Y and the newspapers obtain information which shows that he has been doing things which suggest differently, is it in the public interest to show X for who he really is? Yesbut only to a degree. When the story has far reaching consequences for the family of X, the manner in which this is done should be handled with more care and tact than it is now. The classic example of this is the manner in which the Ashley Cole affairs were broken to the world- and to Cheryl. “We felt Cheryl should know what he is really like” was the tag line, which attached itself to the stories of the women who had spent a night with a man whom they already knew to be married. More like, we knew who he was, we enjoyed the attention, and we knew we could sell our stories. Why are we endorsing such loose morals? What the papers seem to be forgetting is that celebrities are still human and therefore have their human rights. As much as it entertains us to read of the goings-on of the celebrity world, we need to remember that celebrities are no different in their emotional make up than we are. They love, they care, they cry. I would welcome the opportunity to turn the tables on the journalists and follow them home with a pack of photographers and then publish their private life to the world. As Sienna Miller pointed out when giving evidence in the Levenson enquiry- if a pack of men were chasing a 20 year old, it would be a criminal offence. Throw in some cameras and it is legal. In a society where we have almost created a celebrity culture, we surely need to assess the morality of the origins of the stories we are reading with our coffee in the morning. I am the first to admit that I love a bit of celebrity gossip but what I cannot stand is the way that heartbreak becomes public gossip and the person at the centre of the story has to try to get over something very difficult whilst being followed by a dozen cameras. The courts undoubtedly have a difficult task in balancing these rights. In a democratic society freedom of expression is of fundamental importance. I would urge, however, that information that has the potential to destroy an individual’s emotional stability must be considered in a different light to real news.
Recent Development in Intellectual Property Law on the Internet Verna Vesanen Contributor In recent years major US and EU copyright industry rights holders have sought stronger powers to enforce their intellectual property rights on the internet. Several pieces of legislation have caused alarm and protests around the world. The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act Act (PIPA), which was introduced on May 12th 2011, would have given US government and copyright owners tools to curb access to "rogue websites”. A similar Bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), was introduced on October 26th 2011 in the US House of Representatives. SOPA would have enabled the US Department of Justice to seek a court order against websites dedicated to infringing activities if, through due diligence, an individual owner or operator could not be located. Once the court had issued an order against an infringing website, search engines would have been ordered to take steps to "(i) remove or disable access to the Internet site associated with the domain name set forth in the [court] order; or (ii) not serve a hypertext link to such Internet site." Furthermore, applications for an injunction against the domain name could have been made in order to prevent transactions to and advertisement on the website. However, payment processors or content providers could have also shut off resources without a court order if they believed or assumed an infringement to have occurred, without facing liability to the person whose right to freedom of expression had been infringed. Opponents of the PIPA and SOPA were also concerned on the effect they would have on the free flow of information and innovation on the internet. On January 18th several websites staged a “blackout” and an alternative bill called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act) was introduced. Due to the widespread criticism, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on January 20th that a vote on PIPA would be postponed. Just hours later the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee an-
photo courtesy of webprones.com
nounced that it was postponing the consideration of SOPA. On the contrary, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which aims to harmonise copyright enforcement, was signed by 22 EU Member States and the European Union on 26th January 2012. Before that, ACTA had already been signed by several other countries including the United States. ACTA has been criticised for a number of reasons. If an infringement has occurred, the court can, under Article 9, consider any measure of value submitted by a rights holder (lost profits, the value of the infringed property as per market price or the suggested retail price) to determine damages. This has been criticised because the calculation does not reflect the economic loss suffered by the rights holder and can lead to the excess valuation of the loss suffered. ACTA has also been seen as infringing fundamental rights, such as privacy and freedom of expression, as well as halting innovation and the free flow of information on the internet. Furthermore, it removes legal safeguards that protect internet service providers (ISPs) from liability for the actions of their subscribers. This will mean that ISPs are very likely to block content that they assume to be infringing a copyright even though no decision on the matter has been given in a court, in order to escape liability. However, under Article 27 enforcement of rights would have to happen in a way which preserves fundamental principles such as freedom of expression, fair process, and privacy.
It has been contended that the treaty was negotiated in secrecy, without public discussion. However, it is normal that intergovernmental negotiations of a multinational treaty would not take place in public. Furthermore, there was never any intention to hide the fact that negotiations took place or to conceal the ultimate objectives of the negotiations. In fact, the EU announced its intention to start negotiations on ACTA on 23rd October 2007 in a wellpublicised press release. In addition, ACTA will not require any legal changes in the EU, as it will only align and bring to the same standard IP enforcement rules in other countries with those already enshrined in EU legislation. It remains to be seen whether ACTA will ever come into force. There have been protests around Europe and Kader Arif, the European rapporteur of ACTA, resigned in protest on 26th January 2012. For it to become part of EU law, all of the member states have to ratify the treaty and it has to gain approval in the European Parliament in a vote that has been scheduled for June. Many of the states which signed the treaty have now stopped the ratification process, and on 17th February 2012 Poland announced that it would not ratify ACTA. It remains to be seen what the European Parliament will decide when it votes on the matter in June, but the defeat of SOPA and PIPA in the United States shows that protests and lobbying could have a determining effect on the outcome of the vote.
The Devil’s Advocate A Column by Lauren Stone
Lauren Stone Follow me on Twitter: @lj_stone The recent commotion surrounding the government’s controversial work experience scheme culminated in Tesco’s announcement that it would begin to pay the young people who are participating in the programme. Whatever you may refer to it as, ‘sectorbased work academy scheme’, ‘mandatory work activity’, ‘workfare’ or even ‘slave labour’, the Get Britain Working Scheme has proved to be one of the coalition’s most controversial policy moves yet, even raising issues of human rights breaches. The programme, aimed at 16-24 year olds who have been unemployed for three to nine months, provides unpaid work experience for those currently on benefits. The programme has been pioneered by major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Matalan and Argos who have all provided placements for said young people. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claims that the aim of the scheme is to “fight poverty, support the most vulnerable and help break the cycle of benefit dependency”. However, can this be construed as an attempt to reinforce the idea that the working class should strive to climb the social ladder to become part of the revered middle class? Another metamorphosis of the farright Tory distaste for the working class? The lack of any remuneration for the work undertaken in these placements has been argued by some to be counterbalanced by the fact that young people will continue to receive their benefits in return for attending their placement. ‘The unemployed will carry on receiving benefits funded from the pockets of the taxpayer’, comes the argument from a red-faced
Daily Mail reader somewhere in the home counties (who incidentally is most likely to have his taxable assets deposited in various offshore bank accounts). I find it difficult however to make sense of such an argument. Unemployment benefits should not be regarded as some form of bonus distributed as a reward for completing work experience, they are a means of survival for people living on and below the poverty line. The loss of benefits payments to individuals who fail to start or complete a placement is significantly disadvantaging those who need them most. Although I am reluctant to bring the topic back around to the unrelenting debate of bankers’ bonuses, it seems nonsensical to take away benefits of those who fail to complete work experience placements when those responsible for the £2bn losses at the Royal Bank of Scotland are rewarded with a £390m bonus pot. Amidst the backlash, Conservative employment minister Chris Grayling defended the work experience scheme as “one of the most effective schemes we have for helping young people get into work”. However, as campaigners from the Right to Work campaign highlight, only one in five individuals on the scheme are successful in obtaining a permanent position at the end of it. Although the statistics that have been batted around have differed slightly, they nevertheless underline that a significant proportion of unemployed young people are being made to work for nothing with no prospect of a permanent job. The government’s work experience scheme has led some to question whether the programmes adopted such as the Mandatory Work Activity Scheme breach human rights. The Mandatory Work Activity Scheme (MWAS) consists of 30 hours per week for four weeks of compulsory unpaid work for individuals claiming benefits. The scheme allows an individual to be spared from sanctions to their benefits if they failed to complete the work with a ‘good cause’ yet the government have failed to define what such a ‘good cause’ is. The use of the MWAS can be identified as a potential vi-
olation of Article 4 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which provides that “no one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour”. Whilst some may argue that a claim for breach of human rights is excessive, the fact that some young people are being forced to work without pay indicates an unsettling possibility that their rights have been breached. The controversy surrounding the Get Britain campaign has Working brought to the surface the underlying tensions of class that unfortunately still exist in our society. Whenever an issue of benefits comes into the public eye, the media are quick to paint the all too familiar
is hard to believe one can have real empathy after being born in one of the wealthiest counties in the UK, educated at public schools with an aristocratic background and a banker father. In joining Clegg’s defence of the scheme Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urged people to remember that some of the country’s most successful businessmen and women started their careers on the shop floor with work experience similar to that currently being offered by the coalition. Richard Branson’s success from humble beginnings is one such example, as is Philip Clarke, the CEO of Tesco. Whilst these individuals receive my most sincere
“very relaxed” about giving work experience at Number 10 to personal acquaintances including a neighbour. So whilst the neighbours of wealthy politicians and businessmen can be sure of a leg up the career ladder, those in schemes such as MWAS are left stuck at the bottom rung forced to complete work they do not want to do for no remuneration. This is a prime example of how Conservative policies continue to discriminate against the working class; giving the valuable experience to personal acquaintances thereby denying the remainder the opportunity and instead forcing them into unpaid, unwanted work. The human rights im-
photo courtesy of LydiaShiningBrightly at flickr.com
stereotype of the benefit scrounging, feckless, lazy working class. These class tensions even exist in mainstream entertainment, depicted through characters such as Vicky Pollard and Lee Nelson; the archetypal villains of society that the working class have been portrayed as. The government’s work experience scheme is an example of the traditional Tory approach of seeming to care for the working class whilst simultaneously exploiting it for the benefit of business. In the context of the Get Britain Working campaign, the government have exploited the unemployed, forcing them to work for nothing for the benefit of multi-billion pound businesses such as Tesco under the guise that this will improve their employability in the long term. Nick Clegg has vociferously defended the programme attacking those who condemn the scheme and claiming he cares most about the young people. However, it
congratulations, the reality is that a significant proportion of the business and political sphere were born with the proverbial silver spoon firmly in mouth. Even Philip Clarke, who started his career stacking shelves for Tesco, only got that experience as his father was the manager of the store, reinforcing the old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. The point is not to mount on attack on the backgrounds of various political or business figures but on their lack of ability to empathise with the problems faced by the rising number of unemployed people in the UK. David Cameron defended his caps on benefits as a “basic issue of fairness”, and whilst admittedly capitalism is by its nature an unfair system, it is highly artificial for the elite to dictate to those on benefits what is fair. It may also seem hypocritical for Cameron to talk about “fairness” after he was quoted last year in the Daily Telegraph as being
plications of the MWAS gives rise to the potential for a judicial review case and a firm in Birmingham are already planning on bringing proceedings on behalf of those individuals who have effectively been forced to work without remuneration. At the time of writing this, Emma Harrison has stepped down from her governmental role of ‘Family Champion’ after arrests within her company A4e were made concerning the potential abuse of the government’s work schemes. Clearly, there is still much to unfold in the work experience saga and it will be a long time before any substantial judicial review can be undertaken. What is certain is that the attitude of the government and media towards the unemployed, the claimants of benefits and also the working class needs to change. As Suzanne Moore succinctly put it in a recent article for The Guardian, “I tell you who really needs "work experience". Much of this government.”
NEWS & FORUM
Religion and the UK In Name Only? Louis Hemming-Lowe Contributor Is Britain a Christian or secular state? What is religion's constitutional place in our society? And, crucially, what ought to be the answers to the previous? These questions have undoubtedly been some of the hottest on the political agenda of the past few months, and have inevitably yielded no satisfactory answers, conclusions or consensus. The subject of religion and the state is of course rarely if ever a peripheral one, but the perennial debate was substantially enlivened by David Cameron's comments shortly before Christmas when he asserted that Britain indeed was a Christian country, and furthermore that “we should not be afraid of saying so”. More fuel was added to the fire by the High Court's decision on the 10th of February banning prayers being held at council meetings in Bideford, prompting both 'delight and dismay' across the country, the latter seen reflected in the words of Baroness Warsi 4 days later in her vitriolic attack on what she described as “militant secularism”. Warsi's comments were the last in a chain of events which effectively lit the fuse to what became an explosion of discourse, a battle of words, and although far from over and subject to debate per se, may see the most unlikely victims lying wounded on the battlefield. There is, I assure you, a point to my gratuitously over-dramatic and bloodthirsty depiction thus far: though there are undoubtedly real issues at play, it is possible that the battle-like portrayal by the media of the unfolded events may be somewhat of an exaggeration or misinterpretation of the reality. However, whether true or not, it nonetheless appears the sides in this ideological forum have changed complexion. The secular society once seen as a friend to the faithful, a place where all religions could dwell in harmony, protected against the arbitrary prejudice of the Executive and the majority - has suddenly become the enemy in the eyes of the religious. There now seems to be an ideological battle between religion of all types on the one side, and 'secularism' on the other; a battle that is, it must be said,
predominantly waged by the religious proponents. I believe much of this new hostility can be attributed to the complexity of the word 'secularism' itself, its varying substantive models (France, US, etc.), and also, to a degree, a common lexical conflation whereby it is essentially used as a synonym for Atheism. I also believe these to be whether inadvertently or strategically - the reasons behind Baroness Warsi's strong words. Regardless of her intentions, her use of the term 'secularism' is dangerously misleading for many; a danger not lost on the National Secular Society, who say explicitly that “...secularism is not atheism.... Atheism is a lack of belief in gods.... Secularism is simply a framework for ensuring equality throughout society - in politics, education, the law and elsewhere, for believers and non-believers alike”. To clarify, the word evinces no philosophical or theological position, and (evidenced particularly in the US model) can permit a highly religious populace. It simply provides the common ground and neutral space which in a pluralistic, multi-cultural society such as ours is necessary to promote social cohesion and harmony. Whether it be codified or not is not entirely relevant, so long as it is operational and constitutional, as, to an extent, it has increasingly become in Britain. Additionally, and possibly even more explanatory for this purported modern dichotomy, is the consideration that the audible voices of Warsi, Cameron and others heard shouting above the rest are not necessarily representative of the 'average or reasonable person of faith'. In other words this war between faith and secularism is less a war of groups/communities/religions (as it purports to be) than one between the most strident voices within the groups, speaking on behalf of the (more moderate) rest. In short, it could well be faithbased 'identity politics' at work. The most important factor here is that people within these groups – all of them, but especially the ones with differing and moderate views make their voices heard. I suspect that many Christians, Muslims and others would not be opposed in principle to the idea that, because of the multiplicity of faiths that
Britain accommodates, there should be a level playing field for all: this is all secularism seeks to provide. I repeat, it is not a theological position, but rather furnishes a way for all positions of this nature to coexist on an equal basis, and gives them common ground. David Cameron's comments, while not as pernicious and direct as Baroness Warsi's, were nonetheless unhelpful to this end. When the prime minister of the country comes out as saying that he is a Christian, I see no real problem. (While I respect the “we don't do God” position of the previous Labour administration, I do not think it necessary that it applies specifically to a minister's personal faith proclamation per se.) But when the prime minister says
things like “we are a Christian country and should not be afraid of saying so” I can't help but feeling it has a more divisive than uniting effect on the wider public. Cameron went on to say that it is "easier for people to believe and practise other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity". This is utterly unfounded, and I feel that he is also rather missing the point. Comfort for any group is found, more than anything else, in equality and tolerance. It is these aspects of our society that do the most in making it easier for people to believe and practice other faiths, and they have grown with the 'multi-culturalisation' and consequently secularisation of the country's people, politics and law. There can be little
doubt that religious people take comfort from the multicultural nature of the nation, but - with the exception of self-interested Christians why would they want the country to be constitutionally, and institutionally Christian (as Cameron asserts)? Let us not forget that it was only 4 years ago that the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were abolished, a relic of a bygone era where Christianity reigned, to the discrimination of all other religions and nonreligion alike. Christianity was not to thank for the abolition of these antiquated laws, just as it was not to thank for the recent banning of
RELIGION page 7
Cross-Cultural Communication and Offshoring
The Next Big Leap For Business Lawyers
connued from page 6 ceremonial prayers at council meetings, but the religious in general have undoubtedly benefited from both of these, as have the notions of equality and pluralism (even if the Bideford Council decision was on a technical point rather than equality grounds). So, to the opening questions. In terms of majority: Britain is Christian. In terms of constitution: Britain is undeniably Christian – but only in the technical sense. The fact is that we live under a constitutional monarchy, where our head of state is the head of the church. But in reality, we are a nation with a largely secular mentality and tradition. The direction in which we've been gradually climbing, the steps made towards social equality, and ultimately the progress made should not be disrupted by the propagated fiction of an ensuing battle which in fact may exist only between the non-representative leaders of community members unspoken for. And much less should the disruption be made on a faulty premise that misunderstands the very idea of the secularist vision. It is for the benefit of the religious and non-religious to have a political, legal and educational platform that is institutionally neutral, and while we may be a Christian state by name, the continued move toward name only would, I believe, be the best thing for all cultures and creeds.
Usman Naqvi Contributor The relevance of effective communication has assumed far-reaching importance in every field of business especially “business lawyering”. Historically, lawyers have often been mocked for their sentences, which extend into paragraphs, legalese or lawyer jargon that is often hard to understand by nonlawyers. There are some important insights that are helpful for law students preparing to face international cross business and cross country clients and multicultural work environments. There are also some parallels that can be drawn between the importance of cross-cultural communication in offshoring and lawyers partnering with business people in large International corporates. Offshoring is now an accepted business strategy for cutting costs, improving quality and providing services at scale. Most industry and equity analysts also expect it to continue growing “Around eleven per cent or 161 million jobs, out of a total 1.46 billion service sector jobs worldwide, have the potential to be offshored.” (Source: The Times of India) Whilst several physical obstacles related to offshoring e.g. establishment of infrastructure, voice and data networks, etc. have largely been overcome; the challenges of supporting businesses across multiple cultures need
greater attention. Savings arising from labour cost arbitrage are no longer attractive enough in their own right to launch or grow a corporate offshoring initiative. Additional savings from infrastructure are unlikely given the low costs at which these products and services are already being provided today. Attention, therefore, is increasingly turning to the work force, and the provision of ‘soft skills’ as a means of improving productivity and, by inference, the bottom line. These skills go beyond the traditional content training in, say, a particular software package or business process, and focus instead on crosscultural communication skills. It is important, at this stage, to define cross-cultural communication (C3), particularly in a day-to-day business context. It is not: •Teaching English as a foreign language •Accent Neutralization or getting Indians to sound like Americans •Cultural Awareness e.g. in France, they drive on the right hand side of the road •“Reading” the law It is a practical set of skills, based on a framework that includes: •Accepting the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication skills •Understanding key cultural dimensions •Using techniques to identify how to spot the root causes of extensive cross culture chal-
lenges •Applying relevant solutions to specific challenges •All with the objective of building Trust between onshore and offshore or as the case may be between a lawyer and client. Which brings us to the pertinent question … Is CrossCultural Communication the next big leap in Offshoring and/or business lawyering? For Cross Cultural Communication to achieve its rightful place as one of the key levers in Offshoring’s and business lawyering’s continued success and growth it will need to: •Become a key differentiator in the sales process •Create credible measures that allow productivity increases to be measured •Adhere to an internationally recognized set of quality standards •Become an integral part of the day-to-day business operations Further validation is available via an independent survey commissioned in May 2006 which suggests that productivity gains of 26%, on average, are available where corporations undertake crosscultural communication skills training. A similar study if undertaken on in-house counsel legal support would show clearly that productivity, ie the effectiveness of a good in house lawyer, is closely linked with the lawyers ability to understand a business persons needs. Furthermore, lawyers need to be able to translate
them into legally compliant solutions; solutions that are based on practical needs for business growth within the framework of the law. Most importantly, however, solutions need to be implemented by a committed and convinced business person based on the suggestion of a lawyer. A good lawyer is a sound business partner, not just a way to get out of a legal mess or to evade the law but a solution provider that promotes and sustains compliant growth. Knowledge of reading the law in one jurisdiction is not enough. Effective legal communications is about understanding legal principles, finding commonalities and business solutions whilst translating them into a common language that transcends cultural barriers. Inevitably, Cross-cultural communication is invariably a choice between right and right; a common language is not enough. Nonverbal behaviours are just as important as are anecdotal examples to convince one’s clients of the importance and consequences of taking the right action. Culture has been established for centuries, but the channels we are required to use for today’s long distance, day-to-day, communication are new. The objective of Cross Cultural Communication is to provide the tools to identify and effectively manage the resulting conflicts.
Professor Roulette Professor Le Sueur Public Law ❖ What made you specialise in Public law? Inspirational teachers (who didn’t have all the answers) and a feeling that this was important. I’ve always been interested in politics, though I’m not a member of any political party. ❖ What is the one thing you hoped we wouldn’t ask you? Professor Le Sueur joined Queen Mary as Professor of Public Law in 2006 after teaching at UCL and Birmingham. He obtained an LLB first class honours from LSE and went on to qualify from the Bar and complete his pupilage before progressing to a career in teaching.
Whether I actually enjoy teaching. ❖ Something that’s not fashionable but you secretly like… Wearing socks and sandals (but only at home).
❖ What were your methods of coping with stress as a student? Being extremely well organised, going for long walks and listening to The Smiths.
❖ How would you describe the essence of success? According to your definition, how successful have you been so far?
‘This man should never, never, NEVER be allowed to teach again’.
To be happy in one’s personal life: I feel I’ve been successful on that front. In extreme old age, I’d like to be able to look back at a career in which I had some influence over people and events, but that pales into insignificance next to the achievements in private life.
❖ If you had not studied law, where do you think you would be now?
❖ Is there a legal issue in the news currently that has particularly interested you?
I’d have liked to study archaeology and be an expert on Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’.
Whether it’s lawful to say prayers at the start of a town council meeting: see R (Na-
❖ Worst thing you have read about yourself in a course review?
tional Secular Society) v Bideford Town Council  EWHC 175. ❖ Name a book that’s changed you. Richard Ellmann’s biography of Oscar Wilde. It’s brilliantly written and researched and reveals the inhumanity of law. ❖ What in your opinion is the most significant development in law in the last ten years? Constitutional Reform Act 2005.
Judicial Diversity Does it Change the Way our Judges Judge? Hamza Caan Contributor The Judiciary of England and Wales is well respected worldwide due to its outstanding ability, personalities and fairness. Seeing as 11 of the 12 Supreme Court judges are white males, however, one would imagine the judiciary would be reflective of the diversity of the nation. This has led people to question whether the judiciary profits from the talents of the broadest range of individuals and if the current judges are able to appreciate the situations in which people of different backgrounds find themselves. On the other hand, some feel that those in favour of diversity ignore the fact that this will change the way in which our judges approach the task of judging. It shall be argued that whilst the encouragement of judicial diversity may affect the decisions made by judges, it will not necessarily change a judge’s approach to the task of judging. Let us first consider how exactly our judges approach the task of judging today. Legal positivism is one of the leading philosophical theories regarding the nature of law and its followers, such as John Austin, believe that the only legitimate sources of law are written rules, regulations and principles. Positivism was even described by Morris Cohen as “arising from the fiction that the law is a complete and closed system, and that judges are mere automata to record its will or phonograms to pronounce its provisions”. Is this truly correct? Personally, the legal realist point of view seems much
News Briefs: Fake Barrister Arrested An impostor, David Evans, who posed as a barrister at a trial at Bristol crown court was arrested and charged with "carrying out reserved legal activities when not entitled to" and " willfully pretending to be a person with the right of audience". Impersonating a barrister was not his first stunt; he had been arrested before for pretending to be a clinical psychologist. It was during his jail term that he met the man, Terry Moss (a convicted cannabis farmer)
more convincing in the sense that the law is subject to human partiality and prejudice, however much we hope that judges try to treat each party in a given case equally. Legal realists such as Karl Llewellyn and critics like Professor J Griffith argue the point of view that impartiality is a myth. R v Brown is a
ties that took place in the former were less dangerous than the latter. Furthermore, one could argue that with more judges from different backgrounds with their own partial opinions, there would be a higher chance the final judgment as a whole would be impartial, as all the different
The UKSupreme Court well-known case that has faced much academic criticism where a group of men who were involved in sadomasochistic were convicted under the Offences against the Person Act 1861, even though each defendant consented to the actions and did not complain. However, two years later, when a similar case, R v Wilson, appeared before the courts but this time involving a heterosexual couple, the defendant was acquitted on the grounds of the victim’s consent, even though the activiwho was later to become his 'client'. Evans told the court he was a "senior advocate" at a London law firm but the judge, Stephen Wildblood, became suspicious after he made a series of legal blunders. Besides, Wildblood told the Bristol court that Evans's appearance struck him immediately as curious. He noticed that Evans appeared to be wearing a solicitor's gown but a barrister's wig.
The ECHR Asked to Rule on ACTA The European Court of Justice, EU's highest court, has been asked to rule on the legality of ACTA (Anti-Counter-
judges reached the same decision that there were justifiable grounds for the interference, Baroness Hale in particular seemed to be more sympathetic towards Begum by taking into account the fact that she “is on the brink of… adolescence. She may have views but they are unlikely to be decisive. More importantly, she
photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk
perspectives of the judges would be taken into account. The variety of different opinions would allow the judges to attack an issue from all viewpoints, thus encouraging greater discussion. In R (Begum) v Denbigh High School, for example, two of the judges, Baroness Hale and Lord Nicholls held that Begum’s rights had been interfered with with regards to her manifesting her religion by wearing the jilbab. Although in the end, all five feiting Trade Agreement), a controversial anti-piracy agreement. The agreement has been criticised by rights campaigners who argue that it could stifle free expression on the Internet. On the other hand, EU trade head Karel De Gucht claims that "[ACTA] aims to raise global standards for intellectual property rights" and that the treaty "will help protect jobs currently lost because counterfeited, pirated goods worth 200bn euros are currently floating around". The agreement has so far been signed by 22 European backers, which include the UK, as well as other countries such as the USA, Japan and Canada.
has not yet reached the critical stage in her development where this particular choice may matter to her”. This clearly shows that Baroness Hale, as the only female law lord, has given the case some social context: the fact that Begum’s decisions might actually be her family’s and even if they were her own, it is normal for a girl her age to be making choices that aren’t a “product of a fully developed individual autonomy”. Surely with more judicial diversity, one would expect to Some countries, for example, Germany and Poland, have however, backed away from the treaty.
The ICC Passes Down Its First Judgement The International Criminal Court found child army leader Thomas Lubanga guilty on three counts of war crimes. In its first verdict, the ICC ruled that the Congolese warlord forced children as young as nine to fight for his militia. The sentence will be passed later this year and Lubanga faces a maximum of life imprisonment. It was the first trial at an international court that focused exclusively
see more valuable alternative insight like Hale’s in the sense that more consideration would be given to a defendant’s circumstances. This strengthens the argument that the way in which judges approach the task of judging will not change because it is clear that the opinions of existing judges such as Baroness Hale are already influenced by their background, knowledge, experiences and arguably, even sex. Additionally, increased diversity could result in higher public confidence in the judiciary. A 2003 MORI survey of confidence in the criminal justice system highlights the fact that 43% of those questioned felt “not very/not at all confident” that different branches of the judiciary were doing a good job. A lack of confidence is further reflected in popular media where judges tend to be portrayed as “pale, male and frail” and have a lack of necessary life experience to enable them to identify with the average citizen. Whilst one could argue that the idea of all judges are graduates of Oxbridge and public schools is a stereotypical and possibly a misleading one, one cannot ignore the reality that Lord Collins is the only law lord who worked as a solicitor prior to becoming a judge and Lord Kerr is the only judge at the Supreme Court who did not attend Oxford or Cambridge. These facts can have a very adverse impact on public confidence and are liable to continue for as long as the judiciary remains statistically unrepresentative of the society it serves.
DIVERSITY page 9 on the use of child soldiers. Criticism has been raised as to the ICC’s decision not to charge Lubanga for sexual violence amidst reports of rape and sexual abuse. The judgement is seen as a legal landmark, although questions about the court’s effectiveness remain. Since its inception in 2002, this was the court’s first judgement and criticism regarding its efficiency and perceived ineffectiveness prevail. Furthermore, the ICC is entirely dependent on the enforcement of arrest warrants by the states that have recognised its jurisdiction. Several key states, such as Russia, China and the US, have not recognised its jurisdiction.
"DIVERSITY connued from page 8 One argument made by those against judicial diversity is that the Lord Chancellor is supposed to appoint those who appear to be best qualified for the role as a judge, regardless of gender, ethnic origin or sexuality. This is so that their approach is of a high quality with the finest experience. The problem, however, is deciding what constitutes as merit and whether sexuality and other characteristics are as commendable as intellect. Others may question the notion of judicial diversity as numerical aestheticism and having diversity for diversity’s sake. There is also the idea that the diversity of the judiciary does not reflect the diversity of the UK as a whole because legal education and entry to the Bar 25 years ago did not represent the diversity of the UK today. Change has been slow to permeate through the legal profession to the judiciary because judges are made through decades of legal ex-
pertise. Baroness Prashar expects that “the composition of the senior judges will gradually come to reflect society more closely” . Then why should we make an effort? Surely as time goes by, a trickle-up effect would occur and ethnic minorities and both genders would be well represented in the judiciary. Whilst I agree to a certain extent, unfortunately, many people, are of the opinion that the trickle-up effect is too slow and changes need to occur as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that one of the reasons why diversity is so important is because judges make political decisions. In the case of R v R  where the House of Lords did not apply the marital rape law because it did not comply with current public opinion, even whilst being a legal decision, the case had political implications because it meant the executive and legislature no longer condoned marital rape. This case captures the spirit of democracy prevalent in the United Kingdom as the new law now reflected the opinions of the general public of the time. At the end of the day, due to ju-
dicial diversity, it is the general public that benefits as well as even some lawyers who would be offered equal employment opportunities. Seeing more diverse people as judges in the higher courts would offer lawyers from disabilities, ethnic minorities or ex-solicitors an incentive to apply and thus create a less homogenous group of individuals who truly represent a 21st century democratic society. In conclusion, judicial diversity will result in improved social understanding, more informed judgment and higher public confidence. It is vital to remember, nonetheless, that just because a judge identifies with a particular ethnic minority for example, does not mean he or she will ignore the rule of law. A thief will still be labeled a thief but I maintain that this decision would be more informed. Whilst it may look like the approach to the task of judging has changed, this approach exists today as demonstrated by looking at legal thinking from a realist point of view. On the whole, I uphold that I would disagree with the state-
Amicus A Case Against the Death Penalty
photo courtesy of http://scrapetv.com
Death Row In California Agata Kozolup Contributor The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 effectively abolished the death penalty in the United Kingdom, providing for another vote on it ‘within five years’. Consequently, in 1969, the House of Commons and the House of Lords respectively confirmed abolition of capital punishment for murder. Later
on, in 1999, Jack Straw, the then Home Secretary, signed the 6th protocol of the ECHR on behalf of the British government, formally abolishing the death penalty. Unfortunately, recent statistics do not lead one to a ‘happily ever after’ conclusion. As Richard Clark’s recent survey indicates, 50% of the population still support the death penalty in the UK. What is even more worrying is that young people support
it as much as older people do. Let us examine the reasoning behind these views. U n s u r p r i s i n g l y, amongst the most common arguments in favour of the death penalty is that of cost. For those of whom this is the only valid reason to support capital punishment, I have a surprise for you: executing a prisoner is not a cheaper solution. Involving numerous post-trial hearings, reviews, appeals and so forth; the
Experience of a First Year Christina Wan ❖ Where is your favourite place to relax/socialise? Oxford Circus when I'm in need of retail therapy, or hanging out with my friends in my flat kitchen. ❖ What do you think has been the most challenging thing you have encountered in your first year at Queen Mary? ❖ Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from? I'm from Singapore. ❖ What degree are you currently studying? I'm a first year Senior Status LLB student. ❖ What did you study before coming to Queen Mary? My first degree in Electrical Engineering. It's really different from Law, a lot less writing and reading, loads of maths and lab work. ❖ What do you think is the best part of living in London? The culture, shopping, markets, there's always something to do, and night buses mean it's great not having to spend bomb getting home.
death penalty costs approximately 6 times more than the average cost of incarceration. One may also wish to praise the deterrent effect of the death penalty, and how it protects the public. However, the only effect that capital punishment has on society that I can conceive is further dehumanisation, glorification of violence and justification of murder. According to various research studies in the US, more than 85% of the leading expert criminologists in the country do not believe that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide. As Dr Jonathan Groner observed, this may be because these individuals are not capable of considering the consequences in a logical manner at the time of crime. This was confirmed by the former US Attorney General Janet Remo in 2000, when she noted that she had never seen any research that substantiated this point. Statements to a similar effect were made, inter alia, by Willie L.
Coping with the massive amounts of information and readings we are inundated with! ❖ Tell us your aspirations for when you leave Queen Mary I would like to qualify as a solicitor and working in commercial or IP law probably in Hong Kong, London, or Singapore. ❖ What has been your favourite subject this year? Contract Law ❖ Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with future first students at Queen Mary? Live on campus, it's a great experience. Your first year grades do count when applying for vac schemes/training contract. Williams, Police Chief in Los Angeles, and by Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney in Manhattan. The fact that it is often juveniles or people with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities who commit the most serious of crimes certainly adds to the plausibility of these conclusions. Moreover, contrary to the commonly held view, the death penalty is not reserved for the most horrendous crimes. It is for the poorest of the poor. Indeed, in many cases people sat on death row are the actual perpetrators of the crimes. Equally often, however, those sentenced to death are innocent people against whom no evidence exists, and who are not able to afford effective legal representation. I stress the word ‘effective’ bearing in mind the case where one of the defendant’s attorneys slept during the trial. George McFarland admitted he was worried that in
AMICUS page 10
"AMICUS connued from page 9 focusing on such a technicality in law one may easily forget about the defendant being innocent. The death penalty is irreversible. It is the only punishment for which the state cannot compensate those who have been wrongly convicted. There is no room for error. Since 1973, 140 people in 26 states have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence. What about the people who did commit the crimes for which they are convicted? To cite Sister Helen Prejean, the profound moral question is not, ‘Do they deserve to die?’ but ‘Do we deserve to kill them?’ The above rationales will be open to public scrutiny during a National Death Penalty Debate which will be held on 20th March 2012 from 6 – 7pm in room 2.40 in the Francis Bancroft Building at Queen Mary’s Mile End Campus. The event will be chaired by Professor Geraldine Van Bueren with panellists including Mark George QC, Philip Davies MP, Professor Julian Killingley, and Marc Callcutt (Reprieve), who will consider whether death penalty is justifiable under any circumstances. The debate will be followed by a wine reception which will provide you with the unique opportunity to discuss your views on this topic with an eminent politician, leading academics and legal practitioners. To reserve your place please RSVP by 15th March to email@example.com. If you already know the right answer to the above question, why not get involved with Amicus? Amicus is one of the major anti-death penalty charities that provides assistance to capital defence practitioners in the US. It also raises awareness of potential abuses of defendants’ rights. Along with various casework projects undertaken from the UK and its death penalty training courses, Amicus coordinates an internship program that places UK lawyers and law graduates in offices across the US to provide the much needed assistance. Due to its charitable character, it is one of the very few organisations where just being a member enables you to actually HELP save someone’s life (not to mention the great addition to your CV). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved and/or request a membership form.
Queen Mary Student Pro Bono Group A Year in Review Philip Mutton, Vice President 2011-2012 The Pro Bono Group has undergone some significant changes over the past year. It has widened its focus to honour Britain’s established links with the world in the shape of the Commonwealth of Nations, from which Queen Mary enjoys a strong representation in its student body. It remains unique in the sense that it carefully balances its founding principles of fairness and opportunity for all, so that while its members are constantly rewarded, they are actively shaping the local community at the same time. The group is privileged to hold strong links with Clifford Chance, Reed Smith, Berwin Leighton Paisner and SNR Denton, who regularly
provide Pro Bono members with valuable experiences within the London legal community. Over the years the community ethos of the Pro Bono committee and membership has been demonstrated by its annual fundraising initiatives, from which all proceeds are awarded to local projects in the Tower Hamlets community. Being one of the few student societies remaining independent of the QM Student Union, the group’s committee is fully accountable exclusively to Pro Bono membership and Law Faculty. This means that the group is best equipped to be as flexible as possible and adapt to changing attitudes in all of its future endeavours.
Member Development Lauren Watson 2011-2012 Manager The Member Development Department focuses on providing opportunities for members of the Queen Mary Student Pro Bono Group to improve upon their academic skills and to get opportunities to meet legal professionals in order to make contacts and prepare themselves for their future careers. In the first term, a lecture was given by staff of the Law Department on how to prepare for the exams and how to achieve a high level of success in academic work. Additionally to the members of the Law faculty that attended, a select few high achieving students who had obtained a first in their modules thus far also provided some insights and studying tips to students. The event was a great success with students finding the information provided to very useful for their revision purposes. The speed-networking event
unfortunately had to be postponed until next year but hopefully with the contacts made by the department this year, the event will be hosted at The Law Society in Central London in March 2013. The department’s main focus has also been to establish links with Barristers’ Chambers in London with the view to providing students with work experience opportunities in the form of mini pupillages. Many new contacts with barristers from various legal fields have been made this year therefore opportunities should start to become available through the department during the next academic year. The department hopes to challenge the widely held view that the Queen Mary Student Pro Bono Group focuses mainly on opportunities for students who wish to become solicitors by establishing firm links with Chambers, mirroring the success that has been demonstrated through the Placements Department.
International/Commonwealth Placements Alessia Kalish 2011-2012 Manager The International/Commonwealth Placements Department aims to recognize the importance of the Commonwealth of Nations and place it at the heart of the Queen Mary Law Faculty. The department encourages students to get involved in pro-bono work in an international setting in order to gain a better understanding of international legal systems from countries with diverse social, political and economic backgrounds. The Department was created upon recognizing that many students and faculty members are from Commonwealth Member States. Instead of solely focusing on
Vision UK where students are encouraged to participate in pro-bono activities in the UK, we have expanded our approach to include international partnerships and placements. In 2011 and 2012, the Department focused its time on securing partnerships with legal organizations to create placements for our members. In December we began a joint project with Lawyers Without Borders and McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, whereby approximately 40 students are creating country guides to be used by lawyers traveling to Ghana, Albania, Cuba and the West Bank & Gaza Strip. This project will be completed by the end of April and should be a recurring project next year. Additionally, the Department
has secured a partnership with The Law Society of Singapore for two students to participate in student attachments for two weeks in the summer. This will provide two of our members the opportunity to learn about the legal system in Singapore and provide legal aid to those in need. The Department will also be sending two students to Africa this summer for one month to participate in a Legal and Human Rights Project in Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa. The QMSPBG has generously agreed to subsidize these trips. We are still in the process of securing more partnerships and hope to have a placement in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia to offer to our members before the end of the academic
year. The Department has had great success this year. However, this did not come without any obstacles. Securing partnerships proved to be challenging and the source of funding for placements that were secured was an element of concern. This is the greatest barrier to meeting the objectives of the Department as it can be very expensive to send students abroad. In the future we hope to be able to get established London law firms to sponsor placements. Nonetheless, the Department is proud of its accomplishments in its first year back as part of the QMSPBG. The partnerships and placements that have been secured will hopefully continue in the years to come.
The Co-Operative Legal Service and the Consequence of ABS Mai-Ling Dwyer Contributor
The Homeless Department Teniola Jacobs 2011-2012 Manager The Homeless Department is one of the most popular in the Queen Mary Student Pro Bono Group. The department works closely with the Whitechapel Mission homeless centre and runs placements there on a regular basis. The three main placements are the "kitchen challenge", "clothing challenge" and "life skills challenge". The kitchen challenge is by far the most popular. This challenge enables students to gain the invaluable experience of helping the homeless directly and developing their teamwork and organisational skills. Students work in groups for the kitchen challenge, along with other sup-
porting staff from the Whitechapel Mission. In this challenge students will be required to cook and serve breakfast to the homeless. The placement guarantees every participant a sense of fulfilment. In addition, participants gain and develop communication and organisational skills, both useful and valued for careers in law. The clothing challenge involves sorting through clothes that have been donated to the Mission, whilst the life skills challenge involves working one on one with the homeless, helping and advising them with essential life skills. Another project run by the homeless department is the "iGive project" whereby students at Queen Mary can donate a number of various items that
the Whitechapel Mission has a limited supply of, such as coffee and toiletries. Overall the feedback from students who have participated in the homeless project has been overwhelmingly positive. However, as only a handful of students can take part in each challenge we are planning to run placements much more regularly and eventually reach out to other local homeless centres, enabling more students to participate. The homeless department has a number of objectives for the near future; in particular we wish to widen the scope of our placements so that they are not restricted to working with the homeless. We are also looking at more ways to fundraise.
Street Law Susana Fonseca 2011-2012 Manager Street Law, a student-run committee, seeks to raise awareness of law and legal issues affecting youth. Working collaboratively with secondary schools, our mandate is to ensure that pupils are aware of the broad area of law. We want pupils to see themselves in the field, gain an understanding of the skills required of a legal professional, engage in current issues facing the legal industry, and understand how specific issues (such as human rights or criminal law) affect their daily lives. Working with secondary schools, Street Law delivers interactive workshops and
presentations which introduce students to the field of law and topical issues facing student bodies. We are extremely flexible and keen on working directly with teachers in order to better align our mandate with the National Curriculum. 2011 – 2012 has been an exciting year for Street Law. We were involved in a number of partnerships ranging from local colleges, youth centres, a legal advice centre, and Queen Mary itself. A high note was our partnership with Queen Mary’s Outreach and Widening Participation Department where we held a two-hour workshop with highly motivated secondary school students interested in pursuing law after secondary
school and as a potential career. During the session, participants were introduced to the study of law, career paths, and even had the opportunity to be involved in a mock negotiation competition! Going forward, I foresee Street Law maintaining the partnerships established this year. I also hope to broaden our mandate to the greater community in order to provide advice on a range of subjects and to a larger audience. It is an exciting time to be part of Street Law. We are growing, gaining recognition in the community and meeting our objective of making young people aware of the law and the legal issues affecting them.
The retail giant’s legal arm, the Co-operative Legal Services' (CLS), has been one of the first to jump on the bandwagon in order to attain an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence. After announcing their move into Family Law, CLS took on three lawyers from the law firm TV Edwards LLP: Jenny Beck as head of professional practice; Christina Blacklaws as head of strategy and policy; and Chris May as head of business development. This is seen as a step towards fulfilling its aim of becoming, within a decade, the biggest supplier of legal services within the UK. The position prior to the change in law was that certain legal services (advocacy, probate, conveyancing etc.) were the jurisdiction of professionals under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and the Solicitors Act 1974, some of those people being Solicitors and Barristers. These once reserved legal activities of Solicitors practicing in solely Solicitor owned firms has now been abandoned, with these rights now being available to ABSs. This potential growth within the legal market could cause a detrimental effect to professional standards. Part 5 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA) permits companies other than law firms to offer legal advice. It also allows firms to seek external investment or float on the stock exchange for the first time under the umbrella of the Alternative Business Structures (ABS). “An ABS is a regulated organisation which provides legal services and has some form of non-lawyer involvement. This involvement can either be at the management level e.g. as a partner, director or member; or as an owner e.g. an investor or shareholder.” (Source: The Law Society) The LSA will bring the entire legal services market under a single regulatory framework. Their desire to create more transparency, making purchasing legal services as easy as “buying a can of beans”, has caused the Actto have gained the sobriquet “Tesco Law”. The Co-operatives organisation will offer a variety of legal services: employment law; personal injury claims; will writing; probate and es-
tate administration; and conveyancing. Part of the Co-operatives takeover encompasses a pilot scheme, giving free legal advice. They are also in the process of setting up a CLS academy, providing work placements for students on vocational courses. This may be of key importance to students, as the competition in selection for private sector companies becomes more competitive. Their customer promise: “...is a commitment to offering straightforward valuefor-money services and an ethos of social responsibility.” The legal profession may be up in arms as the CLS aims to give consumers a better deal than traditional firms, by offering a fixed price fee for legal work instead of the more traditional billable hour. As legal aid is being reduced, it could help those who do no longer qualify for it to attain legal representation. This could be the much needed shake up in a market riddled with trouble due to fears of a double dip recession. For consumers, the economies of scale, within this growth in legal services, will drive down prices. The easily attainable may be increasingly popular as getting a multitude of services under one roof is attractive. A concern is that bigger retailers may overshadow small high street firms as they do not have the monetary power to offer specialists rates that bigger retailers can. Many high street firms could loose their customers and be forced out by the competition. It comes down to the fact that competition is always mindful of consumers and the ABSs seem to make the access to justice convenient and attainable for the masses. With this in mind, the greater choice that was supposed to be created may wipe out small businesses, with ABSs dominating the market. There may be a facade on which the consumer will think they have a variety of choices, which is far from the reality. This change within the legal market by non-lawyer owned businesses could also affect professional standards. A lack of quality legal representation may lead to people returning to the prestigious traditionally owned Law firms. So for now, whilst you still can, you'd better shop around.
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Climbing the Ladder Laura-May Scott Future Trainee at Reed Smith
We have managed to track down trainees at some of London’s most selective law firms and they have shared with us how they managed to get their training contracts. Read on for insights into the application process at Reed Smith. ❖ What are your qualifications? 11 GCSE’s – A’s and B’s 4 A-levels – A and B’s Lot of musical theatre qualifications (LAMDA, Guildhall etc) 1st class degree in Law ❖ Which University did you attend?
❖ What extracurricular activities did you participate in? The Pro Bono Society and Mooting. ❖ What kind of legal working experience did you have prior to your training contract? I did a vacation scheme with the firm with which I will be doing my training contract. ❖ How many applications did you complete? Oooo too many. 15? I only applied for vacation schemes and got the training contract from there.
❖ How many of those applications were successful?
daunting questions…Why law? Why us?
Not as many as I’d like. Rejection is unfortunately something which comes with the competition. For half of them I was outright rejected and the others I had varying levels of success.
❖ Why did you choose to apply to Reed Smith in particular?
❖ Prior to your application for a training contract, did you participate in a vacation scheme? Yes, with the firm that gave me the training contract. ❖ How did you manage to make your applications stand out? This is a tough question and I still now, having spoken to lots of people who have TC’s, don’t know what the answer is. We all did different things but I’d say the one thing which stands out is knowing the firm – impressing them with the knowledge you have of their business and making sure you are prepared enough to be able to answer the ever
I applied to RS because they are a commercial firm who offer a broad range of services. They have numerous offices around the globe which satisfied my desire to work on multi jurisdictional transactions. Overall though, and this is the main reason why I accepted the offer, they are the most friendly firm. Every person I met was lovely and made me feel so welcome; their open door policy was actually open door. ❖ What do you think was the most challenging part of the application process (in general and to Reed Smith in particular)? I think the hardest part is to stand out and make your application strong. The competition is fierce at that stage and you need to find a way to make your application an in-
teresting and engaging read which highlights your strengths and experience. I, in particular, didn’t like the online testing but that was mainly because I wasn’t brilliant at it. Practice makes perfect with those verbal reasoning tests. ❖ Can you give me an outline of the application process? First draft, second draft, third draft. Submit application. Online tests (horrendous!). First interview, second interview. Vacation scheme. Lots of fun activities. Presentation and group exercises. Final interview. ❖ Which part do you think you excelled in the most? Interview. I think it is easier to engage in interview and show your drive and passion. Those that know me will also be aware that talking is one of my strong points.
Privatisation of the Police Force A Dangerous Road to Take? Muhammad Reza Contributor On Friday 2nd March The Guardian revealed that West Midlands and Surrey police forces had invited bids for contracts from private security firms. The contracts have a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years, making it the biggest contract between a police force and private security firm in the UK. This revelation came after Teresa May declared there would be a 20% cut in Whitehall grants to police forces. Many, such as the shadow Home Secretary, have said that this privatisation is due to pressure from the cuts and that bringing private sector employees into the police force is not a desirable solution. The 26-page contract note that was sent to bidders outlines the different roles that the private sector employees would carry out. These include roles such as managing risk and providing legal services, however, it also
includes investigating crimes and the power to detain suspects, although they will not have the power to arrest. The note also says that the private sector employees can manage forensics, intelligence and evidence. The proposals attempt to offer the running of all services that “can be legally delegated to the private sector”. Those who support these proposals argue that this privatisation is important because it can cut the costs of policing and it will allow the private sector employees to do the managing duties, such as dealing with paperwork. Kash Shahban, of the company My Vision Security, said that the criticisms of the private sector were unfounded because there are strict regulations in the private security industry and the additional support would allow the police “to do the most important jobs”. However, John O’Connor, a former member of Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, refuted these claims and said that private security firms
would cherry-pick the easiest cases and take over the most profitable elements of policing. Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee and Labour MP, further criticised these proposals by saying that it would severely impact on the accountability of the police force to the public. Sworn police officers answer to the public because of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, however, private sector employees answer to the company they work for and ultimately the shareholders of that company. The shareholders of such companies are interested in the profits of contracts and will not be accountable to the public. This is dangerous because lack of accountability allows individuals to get away with mistakes and abuses of their power. This is particularly important because under the proposals, private sector employees would be involved in investigations, including in
managing forensic investigations. The Home Office has said that no private sector employee will be solely responsible for investigations, however, that still does not ensure that if private sector employees make a significant mistake during an investigation that they will face the same public disciplinary procedure. Another significant concern is the fact that many members of the public have voiced their unhappiness with the proposals. A quick glance over the comments posted on the BBC or Reddit shows that the public, in most cases, respect the police because they are performing an important duty, and the fact that if they abuse their power, there are checks and balances to ensure that they face justice. However, these same law abiding citizens say they would not be able to accept the authority of a private sector employee over their liberty and protection. If the public do not respect the authority of such
members of the police force then that can lead to a number of difficult scenarios and potential civil unrest. This author believes that, while there might be a place for private sector employees within the police force, there needs to be a wider public discussion about the implications of privatising sections of the police force. It is deplorable that the first information about these huge contracts came from a newspaper and not from the government. If the government wants to implement such changes to the police force then there needs to be an open and public enquiry, as the implications will affect everyone in society. Such agreements to be made behind closed doors will only harbour ill feeling from the public. Ben Priestley, Unison's National Office for Police and Justice, best sums up this issue by saying: "Bringing the private sector into policing is a dangerous experiment with local safety and taxpayers' money."